Most Tucson Hospitals Charge Medicare Less Than National Average

Medicare has released information on how much hospitals across the country charge for the most common surgeries.  Here are the results for Tucson:

Tucson Medical Center:  .8 of the national average charge

St Joseph Hospital: 1.0 of the national average

St. Mary’s Hospital:  .8 of the national average

Northwest Hospital:  1.2 of the national average

UA Medical Center:  1.2 of the national average

Other Places:

A New York city hospital:  3.1 times the national average

Coral Gables Florida hospital:  3.1 times the national average

From the New York Times:

Data released by the federal government shows that hospitals across the country charge Medicare differing amounts for the same types of cases. The data includes bills submitted in 2012 by 3,300 hospitals nationwide for the 100 most commonly performed treatments and procedures like hip replacement, heart operations and gallbladder removal, among hospitals that reported at least 11 cases.

See an intereactive map at

The attached NY Times  article seems to indicate that fewer seniors are ending up in the hospital with serious conditions:

The number of patients admitted for chest pain under Medicare’s fee-for-service plans plummeted more than 28,000, to 107,224 in 2012, and inpatients with digestive disorders decreased more than 29,000, to 217,514.

Over all, the number of Medicare patients discharged from hospitals for the comparable 98 most common diagnoses dropped from 7.5 million to 7.2 million. The total amount Medicare paid for their care also declined somewhat between 2011 and 2012, from $62.8 billion to $61.9 billion.

In an effort to reduce overall health care costs, hospitals have been encouraged to admit fewer patients for conditions like asthma, for example, in favor of less expensive outpatient care.

Still, hospital charges make up nearly a third of the nation’s $2.7 trillion health care bill.

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